Wednesday, June 15, 2005

counterproductive + morally offensive = don't ask don't tell

What’s a good way to increase military recruitment in wartime? How about allowing an entire segment of the population that’s currently excluded from openly serving to sign up? The arguments against allowing gays in the military are patently bogus, and barely deserve a response. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is part of our principal current national shame, in the proud tradition of Jim Crow, Japanese internment, and second-class status for women. We can do so much better than that.

3 comments:

Torvid said...

Let me preface my comment with the fact that it is written from the male perspective.

Answer this: why do men and women have separate locker rooms? To me the most obvious reason is because if we don't have separate areas, we feel uncomfortable undressing in front someone who is interested in our gender sexually. Do you feel comfortable undressing in front of women in general? Whether you do or not, men in general don't. (And that holds for the vast majority of women in our population). Conversely, undressing around people who you know (or assume) are not going to be looking at you in a sexual way is much less invasive. To force men in the military to live in such intimate circumstances with other men who openly proclaim they are interested sexually in their own gender is inappropriate. If someone keeps it to himself that he can take advantage of the situation to invade someone's privacy and closely inspect other men's bodies, then maybe it won't bother the 'victim' (couldn't think of a better term). However if gay men openly proclaim their sexual inclination...that becomes a glaring invasion of privacy of all those who share quarters with them. It actually seems kind of like obvious common sense. Why are we discussing this still?

caos27 said...

I can't think of a better policy than don't ask don't tell. Who you are attracted to has nothing do you with your job. My current job doesn't allow me to openly express my sexuality on company time. We need as many soldiers right now as are willing to serve. Why does one's sexual preference need to be concidered or why should the topic even come up.
They are soldiers, they are pawns and bishops and knights. Most are pawns and are trained to kill and be killed. Whether they choose to sleep with men or women or anything else isn't a part of it and should never be questioned or brought up.

Yave said...

Torvid: By your logic, we should generally have separate bathrooms and locker rooms for gays, or send all people who are attracted to men to one bathroom and all attracted to women to another. Since I don't think that's what you're advocating (where would bisexuals go?), I have to ask, what is the difference with the armed forces? There are all kinds of situations in our society where people of the same sex who have different sexual orientations are placed in "intimate circumstances"--high school, college, summer camp, business trips, etc. If you're saying the military is a special case, I'd like some justification. "Unit cohesion", "morale" and "national security" don't cut it. Those were reasons given not to let women and blacks in the military. Please don't resort to that baloney now. And the "invasion of privacy" of knowing that your roommate is gay pales beside the "invasion of privacy" of having the government tell you to keep your sexual orientation a closely-guarded secret or lose your job. I agree it's a matter of common sense--unfortunately, your position is devoid of common sense. We are still discussing this because the current policy is unjust, inefficient, and its days are numbered.

Caos27: You said: "Who you are attracted to has nothing do you with your job. . . . We need as many soldiers right now as are willing to serve. Why does one's sexual preference need to be concidered or why should the topic even come up." I couldn't agree more. Sexual preference should have nothing to do with whether you are allowed to serve in the armed forces. So why are we kicking gays out of the military?
"My current job doesn't allow me to openly express my sexuality on company time." You are blurring the issue here. The issue is not that gays want to be able to take 10 minutes of every hour on the job to go around announcing they are gay. They want to be able to do their job with the knowledge of their sexual orientation out on the table, a non-issue. They want to do their job without worrying they will be fired if someone finds out who they go home to.
For instance, you work with your wife. You don't go around telling people that you sleep with women, but when you are at work you might say "that's my wife over there," or "tonight, I'm going out with my wife to a movie." It doesn't matter if it's wife or girlfriend, the analysis is the same.
If you were gay and in the military, you could work with your romantic partner only if you lied and said that you had no relationship with him or any other man. In fact, you could not even bring up the existence of that person at work. You would have to live a lie and conceal one of your most personal characteristics, and deny the existence of your most cherished loved one.
You are right, sexual preference shouldn't be an issue. The current policy makes it a huge issue for gay soldiers.